3 Servings of Dairy per Day for Good Health? Or Death?

At times I question my anti-dairy stance because every public health recommendation includes 3 servings of dairy.   This is NOT one of those times.

I would challenge you to find a public health recommendation from a government agency that does not include 3 servings a day of milk, cheese or yogurt.  Schools teach it like it’s gospel.  And you can’t go a day without hearing some ad on TV or the radio that portrays dairy as the ultimate health food designed to build strong muscles teeth and bones.

Even the National and local “Healthy Kids” groups designed to combat the childhood obesity epidemic pays homage to the 3 servings per day mantra.

Personally, I just can’t get past the reality of what we are doing by drinking milk.  While you may be drinking it out of a cup, it’s essentially breastfeeding from a cow by proxy.

Let that image sneak through your brain for a moment.

Nursing is great for the early periods of mammalian development (i.e. for humans 6 months up to 2 years), but beyond that it serves no purpose.

Here’s another thought to consider.  Just how does that cow continually produce milk?  Think of human females—milk production is tied to pregnancy and delivery and does not continue for years and years after that time frame.

In order to achieve this near-continually milk production in dairy cows farmers have to impregnate cows as soon as the milk dries up after birth, far sooner than they would in nature.

Regular readers of the Rantings will know that none of this information is new.  I even have an eBook on the evils of dairy that can be purchased by clicking here.

So what does my current Rant have to do with this particular article?  It is because this article does not beat around the bush.  In it, researchers in Sweden (a country that, just like the US, have a very high consumption of dairy) looked at 61,433 women and 45,339 men to look at how dairy consumption related to the risk of death or fracture.  Arguably, death was considered the more serious outcome…

Specifically, an initial questionnaire looking at dairy intake was done in women as young as 39 and men as young as 45 years of age.  They were followed up on an average of 20.1 years later.  Here’s what they found:

  • The women who followed the recommendations of three or more glasses of milk a day were 93% more likely to have died compared with women who drank less than one glass a day
  • Basically, for every glass of milk the women drank, they were 15% more likely to die (the men were 3% more likely, which was not considered significant).
  • For every glass of milk in women there was a 9% increased risk of a hip fracture (no association was found in males).
  • When the researchers looked at a smaller sample size in the group, they also found an increase in inflammation (interleukin 6) and 8-iso-PGF2α (a marker of oxidative stress).

Even looking at this large study through rose-colored glasses, you have to admit that, at its BEST, dairy did nothing good for your health.

Looking at it through the lens of hundreds of studies that found associations between animal proteins and fracture as well as dairy intake and several types of cancer, you have to admit that the concept of dairy as a health food is a wee bit glim.

This article, for some strange reason, did not get picked up by the popular press.  Until articles like this get brought to the publics’ eyes, our society will continue to be deluded by millions of dollars in advertising and buying government influence by the dairy industry.


For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.